Course Title: Medicines, Drugs and Poisons

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Medicines, Drugs and Poisons

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2015


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Tamara Paravicini

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7674

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora West Campus

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course gives an introduction to studying medicines, drugs and poisons. The course considers legal and illegal medicines and drugs used in society, toxic substances in the workplace, environment and homes, and venoms and toxins.

Areas include:

1. Introduction and definitions of medicines, drugs and poisons
2. How the body handles medicines, drugs and poisons
3. How medicines, drugs and poisons produce their effects in the body
4. How medicines, drugs and poisons interact with the nervous system
5. How drugs are developed
6. Drugs and medicines in society; drug abuse and dependence
7. Introduction to toxicology; venoms and toxins.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is a University Student Elective available to undergraduate students across a range of programs and disciplines.

It also contributes to the following program level outcomes for BP311 Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and BH095 Chem Eng/Pharm Sci double degree: 

  • Exhibiting depth and breadth of scientific knowledge (PLO 1)
  • Critically analyse and solve scientific problems (PLO 2)
  • Communication and Team work (PLO 3)

This course lays the foundation for further studies of pharmacology, toxicology, therapeutic agents, pre-clinical and clinical drug testing and drug development and regulation.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Develop a broad and coherent body of knowledge in pharmacology and toxicology to support a basic understanding of how drugs are developed and evaluated, how they are handled by the body and how they produce their actions and effects in the body.
  2. Adapt this knowledge and the basic concepts involved to problem solve.
  3. Develop written skills to effectively communicate this knowledge and the basic concepts.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course is offered online and includes problem-based learning exercises at the end of each topic.
Revision quizzes and questions are provided so that students can review and evaluate their progress and ability to adequately understand the material presented.

You will undertake the equivalent of 5 hours per week for one semester of online activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

The course content is provided online via myRMIT (, and includes an eBook and Learning Guide that includes problem-based learning utilising current issues and scenarios to provide you with knowledge in pharmacology and toxicology.The online course webpage accessed via myRMIT (, provides opportunities for you to independently access much of this material. You are expected to regularly access the course website, which contains announcements, course information such as detailed timetables and prescribed reading, course documents and the grade book. The Pharmaceutical Sciences Subject Guide ( also provides useful references.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment activities are conducted throughout the semester so that you can review and evaluate your progress and ability to demonstrate that you adequately understand the material presented.

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: In semester assessments
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3

Assessment Task 2: Written assignments
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3

Assessment Task 3: End of Semester Online Assessments (open book)
Weighting 2 x 25%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3